Family Getaway at the Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel, CA

Last month, my mom, husband, girls, and I drove up the coast to stay at the Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel. We were so excited for a little getaway and had the most wonderful time! Upon arrival, we were greeted with Martinelli’s and gourmet cheese from a local cheese shop. I was immediately in love!Travel to Carmel California  karainthekitchen com 1If you’ve never been to Carmel, it is the most charming little coastal town. It’s the perfect home base for your vacation because Big Sur, Monterey, and Pebble Beach are all nearby.

Interesting facts about Carmel:

– There are no addresses in Carmel. To give directions, you tell people between which streets you are located. Because of this, you will see many homes with names.

– Because there are no addresses, residents must go to the Post Office to get their mail. It’s the social hub of town!

– There is actually a law on the books saying that you may not wear high heels over 2 inches high! Insurance people were worried about accidents with the cobblestone roads and uneven roads from tree roots :)

– Every bed and breakfast serves a continental breakfast.

– There are no commercial hotels in Carmel. Only homey, mostly family-owned Bed and Breakfast-type properties.

– There are also no chain restaurants in Carmel.

– Clint Eastwood was once Carmel’s mayor!

– Carmel is devoid of neon signs, expect to see lots of beautifully crafted wooden signs instead.

– There are no traffic lights either!

Carmel is incredibly dog friendly as well. We wanted to bring Maverick but the weather stopped us from doing it. A wet dog in a car is not the best, so we will just have to make another trip to beautiful Carmel with Maverick in tow next time!

Breakfast in the lobby consisted of authentic French pastries, yogurt, juice, and fruit.Carmel #KarainCarmel - karainthekitchen.com (1 of 1)-3I settled for the pain-au-chocolate, of course.Travel to Carmel California  karainthekitchen com 1 2The girls sitting in the children’s sized antique wingback chairs in the lobby. Ada deep in thought, Lola happy as a clam :)Carmel #KarainCarmel - karainthekitchen.com (1 of 1)-2Hand-painted mural that welcomes you into the Hofsas House:Carmel #KarainCarmel - karainthekitchen.com (1 of 1)-18Carrie now runs the hotel that her grandmother (pictured below) started. As a child, Carrie would visit her grandmother and help her by taking guests up to their rooms. She always knew she would end up here, it was just a matter of time. I love stories about family and multi-generational bonds! Carrie went the extra mile and really made us feel like family during our stay.Carmel  KarainCarmel  karainthekitchen com  1 of 1 4Look at the beautiful ocean view from our balcony:Carmel  KarainCarmel  karainthekitchen com  1 of 1 6

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Turning 30 With The Monterey Bay Aquarium!

For my birthday weekend, Matt & I drove up the California coast and spent the weekend in the Carmel Valley and Monterey. We got a late start, as usual :) I was really proud of myself for not forgetting a thing for the girls or us, though! My wonderful mom watched the girls and they were in heaven having a sleepover at Nonnie’s house.

After the 3 hour drive, we could not have asked for a more welcome sight! We pulled into the Quail Lodge and it was so peaceful. They just underwent a huge renovation and it shows.

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Loved the giant tub and tiled shower!

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This is the breathtaking view the greeted us when we woke up:

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I wished we could have stayed there forever!

From Carmel, we made our way to Monterey (about a 20 minute drive). We went to The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which turned 30 this year — just like me! They have a one-of-its kind exhibit called Tentacles that opened in celebration of the landmark birthday. It is all about cephalopods and has the most incredible installations.

They put up these tentacles outside that blew in the breeze and reminded me of Ursula :) Evidently they made people talk and speculate about what was going on at the aquarium while they tried to keep it under wraps.

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This special series of exhibits is the first of its kind because cephalopods are known for their mastery of camouflage and hiding. I can’t believe what a great job they did making every species visible!

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You are led through exhibits and I especially loved the history of sea monsters and creatures.

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They have an interactive cephalopod selfie station where every time you make a different face, it changes your coloring into different shades one might use to disguise itself. So much fun!

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